Seattle’s Aurora Avenue, an old state highway lined with used car lots, sex shops, fast food joints, and run-down motels has long been known for its issues of homelessness, addiction, and sexual exploitation – yet it has been largely ignored by its bordering neighborhoods. As our Aurora neighbors experience an ever-increasing lack of connection, we believe that the most effective way to confront Aurora’s problems is by cultivating community and a corresponding network of care. Only then will our neighbors and neighborhood truly flourish.
Meet our team
Elizabeth has a Nonprofit Management certificate from the University of Washington and has certificates in grant-writing and volunteer management. She is currently working on a Fundraising Management Certificate at the UW. Elizabeth started with Aurora Commons in 2012 and has been the Executive Director since January 2015.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY EngagemenT, CO-FOUNDER
Karen has lived in the Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood for over ten years. Karen earned her B.A in 2007 and in 2013 completed the Lay Leader Counseling Certificate from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Karen has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2005 and specializes in work specific to women who have experience trauma and/or abuse. As well as starting two successful small businesses, Karen served as an Americorps volunteer along Aurora Avenue in in North Seattle for two years where she received training in Asset Based Community Development.
Lisa Etter Carlson
DIRECTOR OF HEALTH & WOMEN'S INITIATIVES, CO-FOUNDER
Lisa earned her B.A. in Recreational Therapy in 2002 from Calvin College, and her Masters of Theology and Culture in 2011 from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Lisa was the co-founder of the Green Bean, a non-profit coffeehouse in North Seattle. Lisa has been building community among those on the margins for over ten years. Her dream for Humanity is for us all to live as though we belong to one another. She has a passion for curating spaces and stewarding relationships in order to help birth a bit of beauty along the north end of Aurora Avenue in Seattle.
ART & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Jacqueline has her Master’s of Arts in Theology and Culture from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Jacqueline is an artist who works with paint, photography, sculpture, and installation. Jacqueline has published a book of poetry entitled, The Day I Was Too Afraid to Jump off the High Dive and other tales of fear and trepidation. Jacqueline teaches art courses within the Visual Communications Department at Trinity Lutheran college. Currently, Jacqueline is working towards her PhD in Philosophy and the Arts at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Jacqueline's philosophy is simple: none of us are free until each and every one of us are free.